Cozy Modern San Diego Home

A unique and stunningly beautiful home for this San Diego couple.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally publish this project: my parents house! When I was in middle school, my parents designed and built our family house. They collaborated with an architect on the design, acted as their own contractors, and did all the interiors themselves.

Despite having careers in different fields, my parents are amazing designers and contractors. They produced an incredible home. It was this project that sparked my passion for home design and, once I got to college, their architect became my mentor.

Many years and a couple houses later, they asked me to help design their next house, a modern but cozy place near the San Diego coast. We began in early 2015 and they moved in about three years later.

As it turns out, we’re a pretty amazing team. Of course, we had minor arguments and differences of opinion but, eventually, we pulled off a stunningly gorgeous design that appraised for significantly higher than it cost to build. Plus, it’s a fantastic place to live. Success!

Style

Cozy Modern

Size

3150 square feet (293 sq m)

Work Done

When my parents purchased this property, it was overgrown with foliage. Right in the middle stood an uninhabitable tear-down home. This meant we had utility hookups but not much else.

We designed a new two-story home that includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, one office/ bedroom, an open concept kitchen/ dining/ living area, and my favorite part, a huge outdoor covered deck.

Sidenote: landscaping was unfinished at the time of the photo shoot. Stay tuned for another round of exterior photos in the next few months.

Priorities

My parents wanted upside-down living with the master suite and living spaces on the second floor. This allows for privacy, more natural light, and nicer views. It was tricky to squeeze it all on one floor but together, we are spacial geniuses. :)

My mom and dad love to entertain and they usually have at least one guest staying with them. It was important that the flow of our plan fit their lifestyle. The second floor is great for large parties or intimate dinners. And it’s still cozy for when it’s just the two of them.

The first floor houses the offices and guest rooms which makes it easier to compartmentalize. Guests feel like they have their own space and my parents can gain some distance from the office at the end of a work day.

As with most properties in coastal San Diego this parcel of land was expensive and my parents wanted to maximize their return on investment. We did this by filling every little corner of the allowable building area (width, depth, AND height).

My dad uses the garage for his office and workshop so we needed somewhere else to keep the cars. After an intense study of the building codes, we were able to build a carport that did not contribute to our FAR (floor area ratio), a significant limiting building code measurement.

My Favorite Details

The outdoor covered deck. My parents have a theory that most people don’t spend time lounging outside unless they’re in the shade. And now that I’ve seen this deck in action, I have to agree. It has become the main hangout area of the house providing fresh air, privacy, and protection from the sun.

The roof. We played with several roof types before landing on this double shed roof. There is a clerestory window over the middle of the house, between the two roofs. It lets in northern light with none of the southern glare. It also means that our roofs are perfectly positioned for solar panels. Those solar panels now pay for almost the entire energy bill.

The giant door. We really wanted the deck and living area to feel like one cohesive space. So one of the boldest and craziest parts of the house is the 22’ x 8’ multi-panel door that connects interior with exterior. It slides from either side and creates a flexible and effective divider (or lack thereof).

The furniture & fixtures. Once we had a permit and construction had begun, my mom traveled to Indonesia to source most of the furniture, light fixtures, flooring, doors, cabinetry, and more. She and my dad designed each piece and it was handmade and shipped over in a container. All for far less than it would have cost to buy the furniture from the US. Plus, it’s unique and so beautiful, a true testament to my parent’s style.

Want to build a new house? Let me know! Perhaps we can collaborate to bring your vision to life.

Last Month on Social Media:

Husband and I just returned from vacation. 🏖 We had a few days in Puerto Rico and holy bajolies, the architecture in Old San Juan was positively enchanting.

Husband and I just returned from vacation. 🏖 We had a few days in Puerto Rico and holy bajolies, the architecture in Old San Juan was positively enchanting.

On the right you’ll see my favorite statue EVER. It's a cat 🐈 - giraffe 🦒 - dog 🐕 - dinosaur 🦕 - dolphin 🐬!

On the right you’ll see my favorite statue EVER. It's a cat 🐈 - giraffe 🦒 - dog 🐕 - dinosaur 🦕 - dolphin 🐬!

Architecture in Old San Juan!

Architecture in Old San Juan!

This is outside the Governor's Mansion (La Fortaleza) in Old San Juan. They regularly change the color of these umbrellas ☂ to highlight different causes. This pink display was for breast cancer awareness. 💕 So creative, effective, and cool.

This is outside the Governor's Mansion (La Fortaleza) in Old San Juan. They regularly change the color of these umbrellas ☂ to highlight different causes. This pink display was for breast cancer awareness. 💕 So creative, effective, and cool.

Masonry Apartments update! 🧱 We're inside the heated scaffolding (aka. building sweater) and trim is getting painted! We spent some time getting that red accent color right. 👌🏻 It's also the color of the siding on the wood frame portion of this building. Using the same colors all over different parts of the building will help tie everything together. 🏢

Masonry Apartments update! 🧱 We're inside the heated scaffolding (aka. building sweater) and trim is getting painted! We spent some time getting that red accent color right. 👌🏻 It's also the color of the siding on the wood frame portion of this building. Using the same colors all over different parts of the building will help tie everything together. 🏢

I'm in the schematic design phase for a new, ground up house in Washington State. 🌲 There are a few layers here: Google Map > survey CAD drawing > trace paper... Then I mapped out the predominant winds, sun angles, and views. ✍🏼 Scroll right to see how the program starts to come together. It's one big puzzle!

I'm in the schematic design phase for a new, ground up house in Washington State. 🌲 There are a few layers here: Google Map > survey CAD drawing > trace paper... Then I mapped out the predominant winds, sun angles, and views. ✍🏼 Scroll right to see how the program starts to come together. It's one big puzzle!

Sara and her family live in Texas. They needed more space but didn't want to build an addition. 👋🏻 Enter: Meldrum Design! 🛠 We moved some walls and a little bit of plumbing and voile! We found the extra space they needed. 💃🏼  One of the best things about my job? Most clients become friends. 😊👭  Check out her project on my website.

Sara and her family live in Texas. They needed more space but didn't want to build an addition. 👋🏻 Enter: Meldrum Design! 🛠 We moved some walls and a little bit of plumbing and voile! We found the extra space they needed. 💃🏼

One of the best things about my job? Most clients become friends. 😊👭

Check out her project on my website.

One of my projects is going up in Texas! 👏🏻 This contractor referred me to his client. I edited a plan they already loved and we worked together to customize it just for them. ✨ I offer Floor Plan consultation services for situations just like this. 😃

One of my projects is going up in Texas! 👏🏻 This contractor referred me to his client. I edited a plan they already loved and we worked together to customize it just for them. ✨ I offer Floor Plan consultation services for situations just like this. 😃

Designing a building is like a big puzzle. 🧩 This is a detail sketch of the floor assembly for the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center in my neighborhood. The contractor was wondering what he needed to do for a 1 hour fire rating, so I showed him! ✍🏼  Side note: The AOEC is an amazing place. 🤩 They provide opportunities for people with disabilities to get outside and take advantage of the incredible nature Maine has to offer. 🌲 I'm happy to be part of the construction of their new addition.

Designing a building is like a big puzzle. 🧩 This is a detail sketch of the floor assembly for the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center in my neighborhood. The contractor was wondering what he needed to do for a 1 hour fire rating, so I showed him! ✍🏼

Side note: The AOEC is an amazing place. 🤩 They provide opportunities for people with disabilities to get outside and take advantage of the incredible nature Maine has to offer. 🌲 I'm happy to be part of the construction of their new addition.

This client hired me to design a new cabin to replace this older yellow one. 🏡 Check out that view! 🏞 The new 900 square foot cabin will be two bedrooms with a screened farmer's porch overlooking the water. It's going to be gorgeous! 💛

This client hired me to design a new cabin to replace this older yellow one. 🏡 Check out that view! 🏞 The new 900 square foot cabin will be two bedrooms with a screened farmer's porch overlooking the water. It's going to be gorgeous! 💛

 
Don't you love it when things turn out exactly as you imagined? 🥰 This was part of a mid-century modern kitchen remodel I did a couple years ago. The wood cabinets, the quartz countertop, the white curtain backdrop, and that lighting. 🍷🥃🍸 It came together so well, I'm in love. 💙 Check out the rest of the project... http://bit.ly/2Ixihml

Don't you love it when things turn out exactly as you imagined? 🥰 This was part of a mid-century modern kitchen remodel I did a couple years ago. The wood cabinets, the quartz countertop, the white curtain backdrop, and that lighting. 🍷🥃🍸 It came together so well, I'm in love. 💙 Check out the rest of the project... http://bit.ly/2Ixihml

Look what we found when we removed the ceiling at the masonry apartments! 😲 Remember the ones in Brunswick, ME? That is some killer wall paper. 🤩 Seriously though.

Look what we found when we removed the ceiling at the masonry apartments! 😲 Remember the ones in Brunswick, ME? That is some killer wall paper. 🤩 Seriously though.